Exploring Mentorship in the Nursing Context

Monday, 9 November 2015

Linda M. Ferguson, MN, PhD, RN1
Olive Yonge, RN, PhD2
Florence Myrick, RN, PhD3
Noelle K. Rohatinsky, PhD, MN, BSN, RN, CMSN(C)1
(1)College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada
(2)Professor and Vice-Provost, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
(3)Nursing Faculty, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Mentorship is a workplace learning strategy that is beneficial to the mentor, protege, and employing institution as a means of transmitting  the tacit knowledge of the workplace. As a result of mentorship, newcomers are incorporated into existing communities of practice in the workplace. Using tools from the business context that has used mentorship for the protege's professional  development extensively, we explored the concept of mentorship in the nursing context. Alter slight modification of the tools, we administered them to 357 participants in four health regions in two provinces in Western Canada. Both mentors and proteges were surveyed. Findings demonstrated that mentorship in nursing was an individual commitment that flourished in an organizational culture that encouraged mentoring relationships. As anticipated, proteges found the process of mentorship to be very valuable. Mentors identified benefits they experienced, which moderated their intentions to mentor in the future. From the qualitative part of the study of 26 nurses, we explored the perceptions of mentorship, mentoring cultures, and the process of mentorship of new nurses.